Fishing for People

Mark 1:16-17 As He was going along by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew, the brother of Simon, casting a net in the sea; for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”

In Alaska these past three weeks I was fishing for sockeye salmon, and so were a lot of other people. People come from all over the world to fish the Kenai river. One of the the obvious observations is that some people catch a lot more salmon than others do. Why? Is it fisherman’s luck? Is it the sovereignty of God? Or could it be that some people have acquired the skill required to catch sockeye salmon? Those who want to catch fish can learn the principles, the guidelines, and the secrets from those who catch lots of fish, but then they must practice using what they have learned and perfect it until they have acquired the skill. What is true in fishing for fish is also true in fishing for people. Some Christians have learned the principles, the techniques, and the guidelines for effectively persuading people to follow Jesus Christ as their savior and lord, and they have acquired the skill and wisdom from practice.

Let’s look at a dozen principles for catching lots of fish and make application of those principles to catching people.

Principal #1 – People who catch a lot of fish, fish a lot. They not only are on the river, the lake or the ocean a lot, but while they are there they fish. I went fishing with a guy and while we were out on the lake in a boat my line was in the water at least twice as much as his was. He spent a crazy amount of time going through his tackle box finding the best lure and then changing it a few minutes later. I caught a lot more fish then he did because I fished a lot more than he did. Those who really want to catch fish work hard at it, they are motivated, and they fish. Most Christians are not very motivated to convince people that the gospel is true. In the back of their mind they don’t think anybody will believe the gospel, so they don’t learn how to effectively share the truth of God’s Word in a persuasive way.

Hell or the Lake of fire is a very real place where very real people are going to spend eternity if they are not convinced that the gospel is true.

Luke 16:24 And he cried out and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame.

Revelation 20:10 & 15 And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. . . And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Most Christians have become comfortable with the knowledge that many people around us are “lost” and headed for eternal torment. We spend a lot of time doing everything under the sun except fishing. The apostle Paul was a fisher of men and he was motivated to speak to as many people as possible because he knew their eternal destiny was at stake.

Acts 18:4 And he was reasoning in the synagogue every Sabbath and trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.

Acts 26:28 Agrippa replied to Paul, “In a short time you will persuade me to become a Christian.”

Acts 28:23-24 When they had set a day for Paul, they came to him at his lodging in large numbers; and he was explaining to them by solemnly testifying about the kingdom of God and trying to persuade them concerning Jesus, from both the Law of Moses and from the Prophets, from morning until evening. Some were being persuaded by the things spoken, but others would not believe.

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